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Monday, October 24, 2011

Steve Jobs Thought Google Was Evil

Posted By on Mon, Oct 24, 2011 at 11:50 AM

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Walter Isaacson's much-discussed biography of Steve Jobs hits bookstores today. Some tidbits from the book -- for which Isaacson obtained unprecedented access to Jobs, soliciting his views on everything from rival Silicon Valley CEOs to Obama's presidency -- have already leaked. But a new bombshell from the bio is in this morning's headlines: Jobs apparently thought Google did a damn poor job of following its own motto, "Don't Be Evil."

Jobs has vented on Google's hypocrisy before, but Isaacson's bio reveals what really irked him in his last years about the company: His belief that Google stole many features of the iPhone for its Android software, which runs on rival mobile devices. According to the Associated Press, which obtained a copy of the biography in advance, Jobs said Android was the result of "grand theft" of the iPhone concept.

Just how strongly did he feel about this? According to AP:

"I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple's $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong," Jobs told Isaacson. "I'm going to destroy Android because it's a stolen product. I'm willing to go to thermonuclear war on this. They are scared to death because they know they are guilty."
Pretty strongly, in short. However, as the bio notes, his feelings didn't stop him from acting as a mentor to Google CEO Larry Page, granting him some advice on where to take the company in the future. And for now, with Android dramatically outselling the iPhone, this particularly Valley squabble might be all over but the shoutin'.

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Peter Jamison

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